CARMEL, Ind. – In an effort to be proactive in communicating with its larger community of participants and supporters, the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) is continuing to provide updates to the public on planning related to athletic activities at regular 15-day intervals until the start of the fall seasons.
At this time, the majority of HCAC member institutions have released campus plans for a return to in-person and on-campus educational activities during the fall term. In addition, members of athletic and campus leadership teams throughout the conference, working closely with health officials, have been developing campus protocols for a safe return to practice and competition for HCAC student-athletes.
The NCAA Division III leadership continues to provide guidance and regulatory guideposts for the HCAC to follow and has now provided a permissible start date for fall practice sessions to begin. Each campus will ultimately determine their own practice start date; however, having received the new guidance from the national level is another positive step forward in working towards the start of our fall sports.
"I am really pleased with the forward progress our conference members continue to make," noted HCAC Commissioner Jay Jones. "While developments and planning are certainly trending towards a positive fall athletics experience within the HCAC, we must also continue to have hard discussions about potential pitfalls or schedule changes that we must prepare for in case we face them. With safe return plans now developed and some more clarity as to the testing and monitoring requirements, we are now in a phase where I have asked each of our campus athletic leaders to have candid dialogues about their own campus needs and concerns as we plot a collective path forward for all of our members. Those discussions won't always be easy; however, I am really pleased that we have been able to move the conversation beyond 'if' we are going to have sports and are now talking about 'how' we are going to have sports in our conference this fall."
Since its formation, the mission of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) has been to administer safe, competitive and equitable collegiate athletic competition for its member schools and student-athletes. In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, that mission continues to guide us.